California Poppies and Guest

California Poppies and Guest

California Poppies and Guest, originally uploaded by I Nancy.

Today I took my day off to head to the Conejo Valley Botanic Garden at 8am to see what I could see. I met one of the garden volunteers and she was telling me about different things blooming in the garden. When we turned the corner I saw the field of poppies. I’m quite sure that she was probably disappointed at my excitement. Although this is the state flower, and they bloom only during a short time in spring, they are quite common. She had hoped I would be more interested in the exotics. She didn’t know that I was looking for layers and textures and ended up shooting mostly what she might consider “the weeds”. Never-the-less, I am quite happy with my poppies for this year.

I’ve been experimenting practicing with different layers of focus. Been getting some interesting shots. I use a friend, who has a very classical eye, to judge how I am doing. He hasn’t liked many, but this one caught his attention.

Anacapa Island – Like no place on earth


Western Gulls and Ice Plant, originally uploaded by I Nancy.

Yesterday I visited one of the five Channel Islands off of coast of Oxnard/Ventura (ok, that is half way between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara).

As are typical of islands, even though these islands are in close proximity to each other, each has a unique habitat and feel. I visited Anacapa Island, the smallest in the chain. All five islands are “cliff” islands (think Alcatraz) and have few (if any) natural predators to the species on the island. On Anacapa this time of year, during the brief precipice between the barely wet spring and the dry dry summer, the island is covered in a red flowering succulent commonly known in southern California as “ice plant” and a huge colony of mating and nesting Western Gulls.

From the looks of the island, we were just a couple weeks late for some of the other blooming flowers. It has been an extremely short spring this year in So Cal.

This image is my first installment. I will be posting several over the next days/weeks.